Poobah, always having something to say (he talks equal part with mouth and hands) and Doug reacting to it. Must have been a lot of people looking for a Saturday ride because the silly blog had 240 unique visitors on Friday.
Good turnout of a broad range of fitness levels so it appeared we would have the "Spirited B" group and a "Sluggish B" group. New guy Joe on the right with the white/black jersey and since he admitted to following the blog, it is important to bring attention to a stand-up guy! With around 20 in the parking lot, I thought I should see if anyone was in front of Starbucks so rode to the front and....
....there was a larger crowd. I urged the front folks to head to the back but there was push-back. Someone asked what had been the meeting instructions and so, since officially it was the front of Starbucks, I had to scurry to the back and urge the gang to come forward. Too many to mention but included were Dustin, Marty, Jon M, Mark V, Mike M, Amanda, Franz, Tim, Joe, Pete C, Poobah, Doug M, Travis, Flyin Tuna, Sandy, Jay P, Jackie, Luke, Lori, Meredith, Kim, Isaac M, Gus, Steve N, John of Granville, Larry P, Lisa, Deniece, etc....
We head east into benign conditions. Temp was moderate, humidity pervasive, light winds, not bad at all. Many of you know me to be a "Man of all Seasons", comfortable riding in any conditions but these last couple of weeks, yuck. the good news is officially, Monday marks the end of the "Dog Days of Summer" period and maybe you have noticed the average day time high temp has been trending down? Right, how could you know given the actual temps? We headed east at a very moderate speed and then....
...a couple of gaps opened as someone ratcheted up the effort. I think some people got caught up in the chase who maybe should have hung back and eventually got caught out between groups. At one point we were at single file on 161 but things calmed a bit at the right turn on Watkins, left on Morse, right on York and then the York roller coaster really split the group as we arrived at the #16 crossover. Someone said Dustin had bounced his bike computer off the handlebar so he was back sweeping the bushes. We soft pedaled for a bit and some stragglers caught back on and then we went farther south prior to the left on Blacks, roared down Blacks after it crosses the railroad tracks and above, traffic forced us to pause again at #37. Our number was around 20 now and I anticipated it would drop dramatically at the Canyon climb but curiously, Luke set a very modest pace and it was kind of neat to see a train of 20 ascending as one. At the bottom of Canyon, our average was 20.4 and I proceeded straight while the group went left.
I arrived first in Granville and saw Lon Herman and John Sada sitting in street clothes on a bench. Lon is recovering from an injury and just about back 100% although reclaiming fitness has been difficult. Dang, it was hot and humid. I discovered after the ride, one of us had a problem with dehydration and why not, given the circumstances? Above, Dustin was rather perturbed that he had lost his Cateye computer. He had paid $20 for it 4 years ago and amortizing the cost over time, it was $5 a year and he was hoping to get it down to $4 or $3 with another year or two of use. Some in the group were becoming antsy and began the process of rounding everyone up. I was enjoying the shade too much so lingered a bit longer....
...with Poobah, Cindy, Larry & Lisa. After a few minutes, we too departed and were soon overtaken by Ken buddell. If you belong to Strava, you've got to watch the "Flybys" of our group and Ken. He thought he had arrived too late to start with us so began this on again/off again route that crossed our path many times but never did he happen on the group. We followed the route until the Raccoon Run where I made a right and the others stayed on the route by making a left. The wind, ohhhhhhhh and the gusts OhMyyyyyyyyy. I was about out of fluids when I got to the gas station on 161. Yeah, that one about 3-4 miles from the parking lot. I just had to have something cold to drink so stopped to fill my water bottle with ice and Gatorade. Wow, did that taste good! Finished with 62 miles.
There is the COP "Ride the Darby" as one option or there is the "Ride with Isaac" from in front of New Albany Starbucks, 8:00am. This route: www.ridewithgps.com/routes/15794203 is genius considering the forecast so at no point will we be more than about 30 minutes from New Albany if weather requires a dash for the barn. Spirited B pace with a few regroups although I understand enough will be there to form a Sluggish B group pace too. Lastly, note the many and voluminous short cutting options, most notably at mile 47. See you there.